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Simeon Ehui, a national of Cote d’Ivoire, has been the World Bank’s Regional Director for Sustainable Development for Africa since July 1, 2019 and, more recently, Regional Director for West and Central Africa July 1, 2020 - covering agriculture, environment, social, water, urban, and climate. His main responsibility, among other things, is to provide vision, coherence, and focus for sustainable development in West and Central Africa consistent with the regional/country strategies.  Before his current assignment, Simeon was Director of the World Bank’s Food and Agriculture Global Practice (2017-2019). Since joining the World Bank in 2003, Simeon has held several assignments. He was manager of the Food and Agriculture Global Practice for Africa (2015-2017) and South Asia (2009-2015). Before joining the World Bank, Simeon worked for 15 years in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Simeon holds a Masters (1983) and Ph.D. (1987) in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, in Indiana, USA, and has published extensively in his field. He also holds a Masters (1981) and Bachelors (1980) in Economics from the National University of Cote d’Ivoire Simeon is an honorary fellow of the African Agricultural Economist Association, and a Distinguished Agricultural Alumnus of Purdue University.

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Wanjira Mathai is the Managing Director for Africa and Global Partnerships at World Resources Institute (WRI). She formerly served as VP & Regional Director for Africa, Co-chair of WRI’s Global Restoration Council and a Senior Advisor to the Global Restoration Initiative. She is also the current Chair of the Wangari Maathai Foundation and the former Chair of the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. Wanjira has over 20 years of experience advocating for social and environmental change on both local and international platforms. Over the years, Wanjira has also served important strategic and advocacy roles raising the prominence and visibility of global issues such as climate change, youth leadership, sustainable energy and landscape restoration at Women Entrepreneurs in Renewables (wPOWER), the Wangari Maathai Foundation (WMF), and the Green Belt Movement (GBM) the organization her mother, Wangari Maathai (2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate) founded in 1977. Wanjira is one of a few Six Seconds EQ Practitioners in Kenya and was named one of the 100 Most Influential African Women in 2018, 2020 and 2021.

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Dhesigen Naidoo is currently Climate Adaptation Lead to the South African Presidential Climate Commission and Senior Research Associate leading the Climate Risk and Human Security programme at the Institute for Security Studies Africa. He is a leader, a scientist and an activist for positive social change. He is also President of the global NGO, Human Right 2 Water, and a Founding Member of the Water Policy Group. He was previously the CEO of the Water Research Commission (WRC), South Africa’s dedicated national Water and Sanitation Innovation, Research and Development Agency for 10 years. He has previously served in senior positions in the South African national government and South African universities having begun his career as a medical scientist in a specialist children’s hospital. He is a Councillor of the South African National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) and a Fellow of the Mapangubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA). He counts his lovely wife and beautiful children as both his primary source of inspiration and vanguard of his humility.

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Robert Paarlberg is an Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Wellesley College, an Associate in the Sustainability Science Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, and an Associate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center. He received his B.A. from Carleton College and a PhD in International Relations from Harvard University. He is the author of six university press books and has been a member of the Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the National Research Council of the National Academies, and the Board of Directors of Winrock International. He has been a consultant to the International Food Policy Research Institute, USAID, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Aspen Institute, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He recently chaired the independent steering committee for a CGIAR research program, Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH), and is a member of the Food and Nutrition Security Task Force at the Bipartisan Policy Center. On a half dozen occasions he has testified to Congress.  His latest book, titled “Resetting the Table: Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat”, was published in 2021 by Alfred A. Knopf.